The opioid crisis has been dominating the news lately, being described as the “epidemic of epidemics.” Government statistics show that it is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for individuals under the age of 50, claiming more lives in one year, 64,000, than the entire Vietnam war. It is widely recognized that this pandemic had its origin in the over prescription of narcotic based analgesics like Oxycontin, by practitioners to treat a variety of painful conditions both acute and chronic. This policy, especially with regards to the treatment of chronic discomfort, set the stage for its subsequent abuse and over dependence.
What can be done?
Experts agree that improvements need to be made to the manner in which our medical system manages pain, emphasizing a more holistic approach. As a result, this crisis has given rise to a ‘new’ way to treat chronic pain in the United States.
This shift in thinking, endorsed by such prestigious organizations as the American College of Physicians, recommends combining alternative therapies with conventional medicine to treat both the physical and mental aspects of the condition. These guidelines include incorporating a host of non drug modalities such as yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and massage along with over the counter (OTC) remedies as part of a multidisciplinary approach to the problem.
Relying less on narcotics, topicals such as Lubracane ™, could be part of an effective, safe and nonaddictive alternative to the opioids when treating a patient with chronic pain.